Tuesday, June 03, 2008


This is my fourth installment of Wednesdays with Savannah. Not familiar with Savannah? Get up to date by clicking here.

I wish I had this great long story of how awesome our last few weeks were together, but instead I have a pitiful story that makes me so irritated! Bottom line....I have not seen Savannah since April.

Here in KY, the public school system takes out 2 weeks towards the end of the school year to do testing. It's a huge deal and the school prepares for these tests all year long. (is it like this in other states as well?) I was told that I couldn't see Savannah during those 2 weeks of testing...naturally I was bummed. To make a VERY long story short, after testing, Savannah's parents pulled her out of school. The only thing the school would tell me, was that her stepfather told them she had chicken pox...but he kept her out for the last 3 weeks of school! (I think this story and excuse is bogus)

I went up there on a whim on the last day of school, hoping that maybe she came for her class party or to pick up her stuff....but she wasn't there. I barely made it to my car before the tears started. It must have been a pretty pathetic scene, seeing me sobbing in my car in front of the local elementary school. I felt so defeated.

I had spent an entire school year becoming so invested in this little girl's life. I had been loving on her even though she didn't think she was lovable. We read books and did homework together, even though her parents had already told her they were going to make her do the 4th grade again. (against her teacher's advice) I encouraged her to like her short hair, even though she asked if she could used the Hannah Montana bobby pins I got her for bookmarks. Each week Savannah reminded me that is was ok to just be silly and relax.

I'm just so frustrated that we didn't get to say goodbye. She has such a messed up family life, who knows if she'll even be back at that school in the Fall. I hope so.

Incredible....how such a little girl can steal my heart.

Amazing....how 2 opposites can form such a special bond.

Frightening....to think of how deep Savannah's wounds will be from having parents that don't really care about her.

Crazy....that boa constrictor hugs can take all those fears and make them disappear for 1 hour a week.


Preston and Courtney said...

I am so sorry to hear this news. It is quiet frightening to think about that poor child with such crappy parents. The sad thing is there are so many more Savannah's out there.
I will be praying for her and for you.
Your huge heart always shines through!!

crispy said...

Oh, Andrea, I am sad for you. I was wondering how your friend was and missed hearing more. I am sorry to hear that you won't get to connect with her again.

I bet God has another girl picked out who needs you in her life.

Elizabeth said...

I'm so glad you updated us on Savannah. I've missed her and have been wondering recently where she is and how things are going. So sorry you didn't get to say good-bye... I can only imagine how painful that was for you. Know that I'm thinking of you and praying for Savannah...

Anonymous said...

God has been teaching me most recently that "I" don't have a clue sometimes in what He is doing. I just come to my own conclusions on how things will be when He has other plans. I wouldn't be so hasty in thinking you'll never see her again,you just never know when you will run into her, your town isn't that big! I know you already know this, but investing in a life is never a waste of time. I have a feeling she will always remember you. mom

Andrea said...

I'm a case manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Allen County, and let me tell you that my heart goes out to you. I see kids like Savannah come through the program every single day, and its absolutely heartbreaking. Often as a case manager with kids in the school-based program like Savannah was, I don't have any more of an idea than the voluteer does when they suddenly stop coming to school (Basically the only contact we ever have with the parents in the SB program is when they sign a permission slip stating that their child can participate in the program). However, I do know that you have made a positive impact on Savannah's life, and that she will always remember you. It seems as though you were an amazing Big to Savannah, and you'd be suprised how hard those are to come by in the School-Based program. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking time to invest in the life of a child.

Anonymous said...

Savannah’s parents will never know the positive impact you had and would have continued to have on her life. Please don’t feel like you did not make a difference on her life – you did and I KNOW it was positive. You have such a huge heart and are so compassionate & I know Savannah felt that and will remember you. I’m praying you do see her again even if it is just at Walmart!!!!! I’m proud to be your Aunt Nanie! :)))

team bartlett said...

Don't feel defeated! Even though you might not have been able to formally say goodbye, I guarantee you Savannah will remember what you did for her. Just as she lit up your week, you were equally a bright spot in her life . . . something that was consistent, caring, and loving to her when nothing else was.

It reminds me of all the tireless investing of their lives that Ray and Deanna Young did (and still do). They rarely saw immediate results or gratification, but down the road, who do you think those kids looked back upon first as someone who cared for them? You'll be that person to Savannah.

I'll share one more thing that Jeff Cox told our group on our Ireland missions trip in March -"God is bigger than we are, and bigger than our situations." Simple really, but profound to think that God does so much outside the limitations of our own vision. Who knows what He'll do in the life of Savannah in the future? Rest in the fact that you did what you could and you took part in the life of a special girl.

I'm gonna go because I'm tearing up again . . .thanks for sharing your stories, Andrea.